WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JANUARY 10, 2020
EVANSVILLE, IND. AT THE FORD CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Arena, Top 10 Moments of Last Week’s Show
WWE Smackdown returns to the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. The show last appeared in this nine-year-old arena back in July of 2018. The arena is home to NCAA Division I University of Aces men’s and women’s basketball teams. In addition, there have been various concerts and other WWE events through the years.
Here is the YouTube clip of the top 10 moments of last week’s show:
Last week featured numerous returns. John Morrison, who last appeared on WWE programming in late 2011, was seen coming out of Miz’s locker room. Sheamus returned after weeks of vignettes and attacked Shorty G. The Usos returned in the closing segment to bail out their cousin Roman Reigns from another dog food feeding From King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler. WWE is advertising the following items for tonight in their preview:
- The Usos return to in-ring competition against King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler
- Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks to finally square off one-on-one
- John Morrison to appear on “Miz TV”
Matches and Segments
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler
As I mentioned earlier, the Usos returned last week to rescue their cousin Roman Reigns from being drowned in dog food by King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler. This happened after Reigns and Daniel Bryan’s tag match against Corbin & Ziggler ended in a no contest when Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt interfered, and he and Bryan went at it. Bryan was put into the mandible claw, but then disappeared.
We last saw the Usos on WWE programming around the summer when they challenged the Revival for the Raw tag team titles. Jimmy Uso was then arrested or DUI following their appearance on the Raw reunion, and the team had not been seen on TV since. (I believe they made one or two television appearances after Jimmy’s arrest but I’m not 100% certain. I remember it being a point of contention on PWTorch podcasts.). Nonetheless they fold themselves into the issues with Corbin & Ziggler as they take them on tonight in their in-ring return. Their cousin Roman Reigns, whom has had issues with Corbin & Ziggler, is certain to be nearby. Here’s an exclusive with Reigns and the Usos and some tweets:
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) January 9, 2020
UGGHHH! THE SAME OLD MATCHES EVERY WEEK!!! BORING!!!
ps: the flavor of the month wants a fight? you know where to find me…
THE MAIN EVENT https://t.co/4aCIo5m3Bl
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) January 9, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: Same boring matches Dolph? Hmm…well we haven’t seen he and Corbin against the Usos if memory serves correctly. It’s always great to see a popular act like the Usos and you hope Jimmy is past his issues. It would be even better if the Usos and Reigns be put into a stable as it makes a ton of sense. The reaction for Reigns, which is still a touchy issue city to city, could be helped if he’s hanging around his family. Tonight’s match just furthers the story, which likely continues through the Royal Rumble.
Lacey Evans vs. Sasha Banks
Last week on Smackdown, Lacey Evans paired with Dana Brooke to defeat Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and Sasha Banks & Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. They got the win when Lacey hit Sasha with a Women’s Right followed by Dana hitting a senton. In the previous week, Sasha & Bayley defeated Lacey & Dana when Sasha tapped out Dana to the Bank Statement. Here’s Lacey and Dana in a WWE exclusive:
It’s been round and round the dance floor for several weeks with Lacey and Sasha. We all remember the Smackdown before Christmas when Lacey’s husband and daughter were ringside for their one-on-one match and Sasha taunted her daughter. Tonight, they go one-on-one. Here’s Lacey and Sasha going at it on Twitter:
Frank’s Analysis: Now I take issue with Sasha not flying commercially. That’s taking money out of my pocket. Who’s she to fly privately?! I wouldn’t have minded from 2002-2007 when I flew corporate & charter flights but now? Not cool! (I actually don’t blame her. Who wants to go through TSA and deal with delays?). Kidding aside I don’t think this story is over tonight. Eventually, I would think they’re building towards Lacey vs. Bayley for the Smackdown title. She has to go through Sasha first. Dana getting the pin is something to keep an eye on. It’s been a while for her on the main roster and I have to say there has been improvement. We’ll see if anything comes to fruition. I’m sure she’ll be involved somehow tonight. The other possibility is Lacey and Dana pursuing the women’s tag titles.
Miz TV: John Morrison
Time to bust out those dirt sheets! If you were following WWE back in the late 2000s, John Morrison and the Miz were famous for their Dirt Sheet skit. WWE posted a “best of” video if didn’t watch it back then:
Last week, the Miz took on Kofi Kingston of New Day. This match happened after they got into it backstage. They compared how many titles they won in the 2010s and Miz talked about the sanctity of his home and family being invaded by the Fiend. That said, Kofi won the match in about four minutes. Miz broke down and attacked Kofi after the match, seemingly turning heel after a year-long babyface run. Cathy Kelley went to Interview Miz, but John Morrison answered the door and said he had nothing to say.
Miz and Morrison were WWE and World Tag Team Champions during their time on Smackdown and Raw throughout 2007-2009. Before that they competed for the ECW Championship. They split when Miz turned on Morrison, followed by Morrison being drafted to Smackdown. Morrison was written off WWE television after a Falls Count Anywhere match against the Miz in 2011 when they decided not to renew his contract. Tonight, Morrison appears on Miz TV as a guest of his longtime friend Miz. WWE put out a couple of videos of Morrison highlights throughout his time with the company. Here’s his “greatest moments:”
Frank’s Analysis: I’m for the Miz heel turn. He just can’t seem to cut it as a babyface, although this run wasn’t terrible. It doesn’t help when you have to job to Shane McMahon twice. Anyway, teaming with Morrison makes sense to help a very depleted Smackdown tag division. We can only see the Revival vs. New Day so much.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Elias sang and ripped on Shane McMahon, Dolph Ziggler, and King Corbin. Wasn’t he a Shane henchman towards the end of last year?
- Shorty G defeated Dash Wilder of the Revival. Scott Dawson joined his partner to attack him post-match. Sheamus, making his return, came out and it looked as if he was going to help G (God I hate this Shorty G name) but he attacked him instead. Look for a Sheamus vs. G match tonight.
- Cathy Kelley interviewed Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan ahead of their match with King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler. Bryan said he would take the Universal Championship from Bray Wyatt. Reigns said he was going to win the Royal Rumble and challenge Bryan at WrestleMania. (Please please please can we see this WWE?)
- Otis of Heavy Machinery defeated Drew Gulak. Before or after the match he and Mandy Rose talked backstage, but I don’t remember when exactly nor do I care to look it up.
- Braun Strowman defeated Cesaro. He was attacked by Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Strowman has a standing challenge out for the title.
It was great to see three big acts return, but let’s see what they do with them. One thing I’m glad about is that Sheamus doesn’t have the mohawk anymore! Kidding aside, I like the idea of Reigns and the Usos in a stable. I feel the same way about Miz and Morrison pairing up, as well as Sheamus being a heel. He’s certainly a possibility for the Rumble win, but I still lean towards Reigns for that. Raw is still trending upward and hopefully Smackdown goes in the same direction.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!